ACSI collation of Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) ASX50 group and subsidiary gender pay gap data

WGEA data overview

Gender pay gap information for private sector organisations with 100 or more employees was published by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for the first time in February.

The entity-by-entity reporting, which saw some reporting as groups and others as subsidiaries – complicates the picture for investors. Because of this, ACSI has gathered data on ASX50 entities and their related subsidiaries with similar names for our members’ use. Note, where subsidiaries are similarly named, they have been included, however we have not checked for all subsidiaries of the ASX50.

The WGEA dataset is an opportunity to monitor progress, providing insights into which entities are actively trying to address the problem of gender inequality, whatever their initial baseline may be. It also offers many avenues for potential engagement. In international markets, publication of similar information resulted in improvements to the gender pay gap. Over time, we hope to see the same effect here.

The six disclosure areas are:

  1. Workforce composition
  2. Boards and governing bodies
  3. Equal remuneration: The gender pay gap
  4. Flexible work, parental leave and domestic violence support
  5. Employee consultation
  6. Sex-based harassment and discrimination

ACSI has collected data across these six reporting areas for 103 entities connected to the ASX50. In the attached spreadsheets (ordered by disclosure area):

  • Entities marked green in the top row are the group entity.
  • Entities marked orange in the top row are a subsidiary (either instead of, or in addition to, group reporting).
  • Entities marked red appear to be a private company subsidiary, but we have been unable to confirm them as such through Factset, Modern Slavery statements or other sources.

Outlined below are key statistics in each of the reporting areas. We would welcome members’ views as to whether this data should be extended to the ASX200 (and associated entities) or if there are other ways in which we could help to make the WGEA dataset more useful.

Key findings from WGEA data

REPORTING AREA 1: is an overview of the composition of the workforce, including the manager, head of business and key management personnel levels.

  • Women represent more than 40% of the manager cohort in 43 entities.
  • Only 2% of male managers nationally work part-time. In contrast, 13% of female managers work part-time.

Click here to view ‘composition of the workforce’ data.

REPORTING AREA 2: addresses board composition and related targets. In our sample:

  • 15 entities do not have a policy supporting gender equality in board composition (as reported to WGEA). This includes seven groups: Woolworths Group Limited (which does have a majority women board, and makes a 40/40/20 board reference), Resmed Inc, Northern Star Resources Ltd, Mineral Resources Ltd, Endeavour Group Limited, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, and CSL Limited.
  • 44 entities’ boards do not have 40% representation of women. Sixteen of these also have no target to increase the representation of women on the board.

Click here to view ‘composition of the board and related targets’ datasheet.

REPORTING AREA 3: addresses whether entities have in place a policy and strategy on equal remuneration and the gender pay gap

  • Six entities do not have a policy or strategy on equal remuneration, including: four Qantas subsidiaries, Sonic Healthcare Services Pty Ltd and Sonic Healthplus Pty Ltd.
  • Four entities have not conducted remuneration gap analysis. These are James Hardie Australia Pty Ltd, Telstra Broadcast Services Pty Limited, Sonic Healthcare Services Pty Ltd and Sonic Healthplus Pty Ltd.
  • Surprisingly, 12 entities which undertook remuneration gap analysis have taken no action as a result of this analysis.
  • Fifty-seven entities have a median base salary gender pay gap above the national result of 14.5% and 57 entities (not all the same as the first 58) have a median total remuneration gender pay gap above the national result of 19%. Results in the spreadsheet are marked with reference to the national average.

Click here to view ‘policy and strategy on equal remuneration and the gender pay gap’ datasheet.

REPORTING AREA 4: responses to the fourth area of reporting provide insight into parental leave policies, programs and their use. In our sample:

  • 31 entities made parental leave universally available, ie, not distinguishing between primary and secondary carers. Five entities do not provide paid parental leave at all.
  • Two entities are listed as not providing superannuation on paid parental leave (both Brambles subsidiaries). Three entities (QBE group and two Telstra subsidiaries), provide parental leave but gave no answer to this question.
  • This section also provides insight on paid parental leave taken by men as primary carers where available. There is no ‘right’ number for this statistic, but given the national result is 14%, it was interesting to see that 42 entities had percentages below the national level.

Click here to view ‘parental leave’ datasheet.

REPORTING AREA 5: covers employee consultation on issues concerning gender equality. Nationally, only 47% of entities undertake such consultations, and the following entities in our sample do not do so:

  • Qantas (or any of its subsidiaries)
  • Ramsay Healthcare subsidiaries
  • Sonic Healthplus Pty Ltd
  • Two Telstra subsidiaries – Telstra Broadcast Services Pty Limited and Telstra Health Pty Ltd 
  • Engaging with employees who have resigned while on parental leave may be considered a leading practice, given the potential bias and gender-based issues involved. Nationally, only 2% of entities carry out such consultation, and three in the ACSI sample do so: Sonic Healthcare Services Pty Limited, Macquarie Corporate Holdings Pty Limited and Macquarie Group Services Australia Pty Ltd.

Click here to view ‘consultation with employees on issues concerning gender equality’ datasheet.

REPORTING AREA 6: The final dataset addresses sex-based harassment and discrimination. Nationally, 89% of entities have a policy on sex-based harassment or discrimination and provide training for managers on sexual harassment or discrimination. All the entities analysed by ACSI do so.  Only one entity (James Hardie Australia Pty Ltd), is listed as having a policy that does not include a grievance process, but 17 other entities (a mixture of groups and subsidiaries) have not responded on that data point.

Click here to view ‘Sex-based harassment and discrimination’ datasheet.

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